Grivel has updated its classic G10 mountaineering spikes with a more secure heel spring called the Moletta, which locks the crampons down in the rear, so there is no accidental disengagement between the boot and the ’pon. The Moletta is also completely tool-free and “easier to adjust than other spring-pin systems I’ve used,” said one tester.
If steep, technical ice flows make you shiver with delight, check out the Griven G22 Crampons ($225, grivel.com). One tester spent four days climbing fresh ice in Cody, Wyoming, and was amazed at how well the G22s (available in one size) penetrated dense water ice.
Salewa Pro Guide - When Salewa revealed stiff-soled climbing boots that loosen up for walking with a simple adjustment, people slapped their heads and said, “Why didn’t I think of that?” But would they really work? Our main tester, a Rainier guide, used these boots on his home mountain and on steep ice in Montana, and he loved them. “The boots continue to impress with the walk/climb mode adjustment,” he reported. “I wear them on any approach in walk mode, switch over to climbing for the steep ice, and then step blissfully back into walking comfort for the hike out.”
Crampon designers’ imaginations are working overtime: rigid vs. semi-rigid, straight or anatomic frames, mono and dual front point configurations.
Trango has clearly put some thought into creating a very versatile, high performance, rigid crampon.
The Stubai X-Dream’s rigid frame rails are aluminum, which Stubai claims makes the X-Dream significantly lighter.
Summary: At the Pitbull’s pricepoint, a crampon should come packaged with all the latest whistles and bells, it better have significant design and performance advantages over the competition, and it ought to include a decent bottle of single-malt whisky.
The semi-rigid M10 is the heaviest crampon we surveyed, though Petzl Charlet says that design changes made to the heel unit and binding for this season will trim another five ounces (a surprise because it is the forward unit which seems particularly big-boned).
Grivel has gotten the semi-rigid design just right: thanks in large part to the horizontal framing, the G14 is very clean — and less prone to balling (although anti-bots are available and 50% cheaper if purchased with the crampons).
The DMM Terminator is a virtual chameleon, packaged with parts for adapting to nearly any style of vertical terrain.
A new semi-rigid design, the C14 delivers on many a competitor’s unfulfilled promise: the relatively lightweight frame has the lowest profile of any crampon we looked at, delivering a less imposing, unencumbered feel, particularly on mixed ground.
A relatively new entry into the field of semi-rigid crampons, the Bionic has a few kinks to work out.